OT and PT put the FUN in FUNCTIONAL!

October 05, 2018

Our Physical Therapist, Mr. Joe, and our Occupational Therapists, Ms. Caitlin and Ms. Gretchen are super busy and exquisitely fun.

A quick glimpse into the therapy room which, at Crossroads, is shared by the Occupational Therapy (OT) and Physical Therapy (PT) departments, gives our readers some ideas of the types of skills that our students are making progress with here recently!

One area that is often targeted for OT is handwriting. Handwriting isn’t a simple skill to master by any means and for some students, prerequisite skills need to be achieved first. These can include skills such as achieving a pincer grasp, holding a utensil, and making a simple mark on a piece of paper. When a child is able to make controlled marks, such as side to side or top to bottom, they can move on to straight and curved lines, shapes like a circle, square and triangle, and eventually letters and numbers, which are later put together to form words and phrases, sentences and so on. You’ll find the O.T.’s using everything from cheerios to silly balls to give their students practice picking up small items with fingers and utensils. So many fine motor skills are put to work in an O.T. session!

On the other hand, Physical Therapy works to improve gross motor skills. One of the important areas often addressed in Physical Therapy (P.T.) here is mastering the stairs. Taking one stair at a time, putting one foot up, pulling one’s own weight up with the second step, going up, going down, use of a handrail…. there are so many pieces of the full picture involved in using stairs. It’s a pretty important activity to be able to do safely and Mr. Joe makes sure that the students work hard on it!

 In these pictures you can also see positive reinforcement. The therapists make the activities themselves very fun and reinforcing, and following successful work, they give their student an opportunity for a fun activity which is picked ahead of time by the child. You’ll probably see that the reinforcer activities are activities which are also benefiting the child, such as the balance ball, the bouncing ball, and enthusiastic praise from the therapist.

Just some of the ways that O.T. and P.T. are putting the FUN in the important functional skills that they teach each day at Crossroads Center for Children!

Would you like to find other stories about Related Services at Crossroads? Here’s a past post you might enjoy!

Out-of-this-world-OT group


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